Roland has announced a new version of its TrueVis wide format eco solvent printer, the TrueVis VG2, available in two sizes as the 1625mm wide VG2 640 and the 1371mm wide VG2 540.
There does not appear to be a single major improvement over the original VG series, though Roland does say that it has made some 40 minor enhancements. This is not to be confused with the Japanese Kaizen approach, which involves making continuous small improvements throughout the life of a product without making much of a song and dance about it, as opposed to announcing a new product with just those small improvements in time for the major trade shows.
These printers have gained a new generation of eco-solvent TR2 ink, which includes an extra colour – Orange – which should improve the overall colour gamut, at least in terms of brighter colours like oranges, yellows and reds, which in fairness do tend to be popular in lots of display advertising and packaging, particularly around foods and corporate logos. Roland has also added a new Multiprocess Color Function so that this orange can be used as a process colour or as a spot colour. According to the press release, Kohei Tanabe, president of Roland’s Digital Printing business division, commented: “Now for the first time vibrant colour can be combined with neutral greys, smooth gradations and natural skin tones to create stunning graphics.” Oops – he probably did not mean to imply that you can’t achieve these things with any of the other printers that Roland sells.
This new colour is in addition to the previous seven colours (CMYKLcLmLk) plus White. However, the printer itself appears to still be fitted with the same Roland Flexfire printheads as the original VG series. There are four heads, each having two colour channels. This means that users will have to choose between loading either the white or orange inks together with the remaining seven colours, which I guess comes down to whether or not you need the added colour gamut or the ability to print multiple layers. That said, there does not appear to be an ink recirculation system for the white ink, which does seem like a major omission in a modern printer, with users instead advised to shake the cartridge before printing. However, there is also an option to use two sets of CMYK, which allows for fewer passes and increases the overall productivity quite dramatically.
Roland has also added new middle pinch rollers, which automatically lift up before cutting to give a smooth cut without having rollers travelling over the printed area. Roland also seems to have optimized the pressure settings on the side pinch rollers, which work together with new crop mark options, to improve the cutting of laminated prints as well as long production runs of print and cut graphics. The cutting remains the same 10 to 30mm/s speed and 30 to 500 gf force.
The printer comes with Roland’s VersaWorks 6 RIP software, which has been developed with Global Graphics and supports its Harlequin RIP dual core engine with PDF 2.0 and native 64-bit processing. There’s also a new optional automated take-up unit, with two modes so that it can handle a range of substrates from thin films to heavy canvas.
The new VG2 printer and TR2 inks are certified by the 3M MCS and support Avery’s ICS performance guarantee as well as the Greenguard Gold certification for indoor graphic applications.
The TrueVis VG2 640 costs £15,799, while the smaller VG2540 weighs in at £13,999, making them slightly cheaper than the older VG models. You can find further details on this new printer at the Roland website.